Home News Death of Christian teen in Lahore factory sparks outcry

Death of Christian teen in Lahore factory sparks outcry

The death of an 18-year-old Christian youth ignited widespread community outrage and demand for justice in Pakistan. 

Waqas Masih was reportedly killed by the Muslim owners of the factory where he worked, sparking calls for accountability and an end to violence against minority communities.

Salamat Masih, the father of Waqas, reported in his First Information Report (FIR) that his two sons were employed at a plastic bottle factory owned by Haji Saleem. 

On June 6, around 3 PM, Salamat Masih’s younger son informed him that factory owner Haji Saleem, his son Omer Saleem, and other factory workers—Shahzad, Bilal, and Shani—had taken Waqas into the factory and beaten him severely, leaving him unconscious.

When Salamat Masih reached the factory with his 12-year-old son Awais and others, he found Waqas tied up and beaten with plastic pipes by the factory owner and his associates. 

Despite Salamat Masih’s pleas, the factory owner claimed that Waqas was merely unconscious. By 3 PM, Waqas was declared dead.

The family took Waqas’s body to Mayo Hospital, Lahore, for an autopsy and later buried him on June 7th. 

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Salamat Masih and his wife Rubina, devastated by the loss of their son, denied the allegations that Waqas had been stealing from the factory owner.

Awais, the 12-year-old brother of Waqas, described how the factory owner and workers beat Waqas from 10 AM, giving him electric shocks and breaking many of his bones. 

Despite Waqas’s pleas to bring his mother, he was not allowed to leave. Waqas succumbed to his injuries. 

The Masih family has five children. Three are married and live separately, while Waqas, Awais, and their parents lived together in poverty. 

An FIR was registered at Islam Purra police station on June 6th under sections 302 and 34 TP. However, as of June 10th, no arrests had been made, and the autopsy report had not been issued to the family.

Nasir Saeed, Director of Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS-UK), expressed deep concern over the increasing violence and discrimination against Christians in Pakistan.

He highlighted the ongoing false accusations of blasphemy against Christians, including recent cases involving two women. 

Saeed criticized the Pakistani government for failing to protect its Christian citizens, leaving them vulnerable to violence and injustice.

“It is a very tenuous and grieving situation for Christians throughout Pakistan. False cases of blasphemy continue to be registered against Christians, and they are living under constant threat. The government must ensure impartial investigations and bring those responsible for these acts to justice,” he said. 

He added, “The Pakistani government must take immediate action to stop these atrocities and ensure the safety and security of Christians in Pakistan. This includes investigating high-level officials and holding them accountable for their complicity in these crimes.” 

Saeed appealed for prayers for the end of the ongoing persecution of Christians and for their safety in Pakistan.

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